Viracocha III is unlike any other vessel – this 60ft reed boat was built on a remote Chilean beach for a transpacific voyage. Andy Dare explains all…

Adventurer Phil Buck is no stranger to reed boats, having twice before sailed from Chile to Easter Island non-stop. However, his latest project aims to sail more than twice that distance, bypassing Easter Island, aiming for Mangareva Island in French Polynesia, in a boat that will start sinking as soon as it’s launched.

“Nobody has done it – at least [not since] ancestral rafts. We are using a very different sailing system that nobody has tried in modern times that I know of,” explains Buck.

As the reeds will be continually absorbing water, there will be little time for celebrations in Polynesia, before they head off again, on another 5,000-mile leg to Sydney, making a total voyage of some six months.

One of the

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